Life Drawing

Dan Thompson

Dan Thompson, Ace, Graphite on paper, 2016.

Class Description

Life Drawing

This course is designed as a nine month investigation into the art and technique of figure drawing. The first Friday of each month generally begins with short pose exercises, intended to place students in what has been termed ‘the art of the start’. Focusing on starting drawings beautifully and consistently, students develop their aptitude in gesture, weight/balance; they learn to handle proportion without losing parts of the body; students organize and analyze optical shape relationships and their design. The third and fourth Fridays are organized as “long pose” studies, encompassing more developed drawings. Under two session poses, students layer further insights upon their starts, like orienting anatomical and planar figure landmarks and light/shadow observations on the page.

Students also learn to layer graphite and how to use the range of pencil grades, stumps and erasers with archival drawing paper. When the month permits even longer studies, hatch mark becomes a major talking point. The final Friday is used for PowerPoint lectures on anatomical regions/art historical and drawing related lectures, guest lecture visits, presentations of student work from the archives of The Art Students League (1880s – 1940s) or for long form demonstrations in drawing by the instructor.

About the Instructor

Dan Thompson has been awarded extensively for his artwork, receiving the Grand Prize for Best of Show in the American Society of Portrait Artist’s International Portrait Competition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Erlebacher Award from the New York Academy of Art, two Ethel Lorraine Bernstein Memorial Awards for Excellence in Painting from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants, as well as many others. He has been designated a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center.

Mr. Thompson co-founded two schools of art in New York City: the Grand Central Academy of Art and the Janus Collaborative School of Art. He has served on the M.F.A. faculty of the New York Academy of Art for fifteen years, and is both a faculty member of Studio Incamminati and an associate of the Artistic Advisory Committee.

Mr. Thompson’s work has been exhibited in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, John Pence Gallery, Arcadia Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the John Noble Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the National Arts Club, the United States Capitol and Beijing’s World Art Museum.

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